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Brilliant Media boss: We're a better agency without one huge account


By The Drum Team, Editorial

July 8, 2011 | 3 min read

In the second part of our interview with Brilliant Media, managing director Chris Broadbent tells us about the agency's ambitions for the future.

In an interview in this week's edition of The Drum magazine, which is out now, Broadbent insisted the agency would have a bright future in the absence of the £40m-spending behemoth.

He said: "I think we’re a better company without that one huge thing [DFS].

"What we don’t want is to be where we’ve been and have something like that happen again. We don’t want to be over-reliant on any customer. We don’t want extremely low margin business that is vulnerable to networks. That will eliminate certain accounts.

“We’ve got to be true to ourselves. We’re not going to appeal to everybody. We should be proud of what we have got, which is the largest independent media business in the UK."

Broadbent said key for the independent agency going forward would be stressing its point of difference from network rivals.

"If we’re billing £90m then a £5m or £10m spender is a big account for us and they’ll get the people who actually own the business working on the business. That’s our USP. We’re an owner-managed business. None of our competitors can say that.

"We don’t have to be the biggest. What we want to be is profitable. We obviously need turnover but we’ve got to be realistic: we’re not going to be competing with Mediacom and Carat for a global, £100m account.

"What we can do is be better equipped to help clients in the future by giving them a proper integrated, sophisticated offering, rather than just being a commodity buyer. I think that’s probably what people would’ve labelled Brilliant as in the past. But that’s people who perhaps don’t know what we do do. That isn’t the approach that has won us £2m MG in Birmingham. That isn’t what won us the TV for Betfred, which we took off Mediacom. That isn’t what has kept Great Rail Journeys for the past three years."

And Broadbent added that the agency's ambition to grow has not been tempered by the pressures of recent months.

"The vision is: we want to grow. We don’t necessarily have to be 150-200 million turnover. I’m not bothered about the turnover; I want to drive profit and I want to reward the staff."

You can read the interview in full in this week's edition of The Drum magazine, out today. Read further extracts from the interview.

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